A Ship Made of Paper

Finalist, National Book Awards 2003 for Fiction

A Ship Made of Paper, by Scott Spencer, book cover 2003
ISBN 9781587244889
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Scott Spencer

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When Daniel Emerson, a New York City lawyer, returns to his hometown of Leyden, New York, a picturesque small town on the Hudson River, he is anxious to settle down into family life with his girlfriend Kate, a writer, and her daughter Ruby. But as Kate descends into obsession with the O.J. Simpson trial and starts drinking, Daniel begins to find himself hopelessly attracted to Iris Davenport, a black woman whose son is Ruby’s best friend. After Daniel and Iris spend a night together when they are trapped in the same house by a blizzard, the rosy domesticity that had until then characterized their lives is shattered, and in its place arise troubled issues of race, class, romantic obsession, and family responsibility.